(the recently shy and retiring Nic Anelka)
If the world’s professional athletes and the sporting sphere’s power players routinely used Twitter to express something beyond generic P.R.-speak and/or innocuous updates about their recent visits to the multiplex…we’d be stuck with several thousand Paul Shirley’s. And unless you’re Muse’s publicist (or Barbara Bush), who the fuck wants that? Still, When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderleith bemoans the lack of meaty content from the soccer scene’s Twitterers.
In a recent MLS game between Chivas USA and the Seattle Sounders, referee Alex Prus sent off Seattle’s Leo GonzÃ¡lez and Chivas defender Mariano Trujillo for a skirmish, and then recanted via Twitter, admitting his mistake. Well, apart from blaming his linesman for the whole thing. “After review[ing] my tape, red to Gonzales harsh,” Prus wrote over four tweets. “Even though Gonzales was instigator he did not make a contact above shoulders like I was told by my crew member on the field. Not having the best view of the incident, acted on opinion of my crew members. Saying that I am taking full responsibility for this call. In officiating we survive as a team and sink as a team. As a head referee I take the blame even though it wasn’t really my decision.”
If this is how referees talk after a game, let’s please hear more. To paraphrase: I take full responsibility for the decision that was based on the bad advice of my idiot linesman. Yet strangely, the referee’s Twitter feed has been very quiet ever since. Did he receive a visit in the night from a cabal of FIFA henchmen? “Mister Blatter is not happy with your Twitter page.” (Sound of knuckles cracking.) “Mister Blatter believes that referees should whistle, not tweet.” (Luger pistol is tapped gently on wooden table.) “Are we making ourselves clear?”
Another feed that’s gone all silent is Nicolas Anelka’s, tweet-free since May 17, when he joyously greeted Chelsea’s double. Nothing to say about the World Cup, Nic? Too busy concentrating on leading France to another final, probably. I also had to admire Toronto FC’s Jim Brennan for having only one follower. With tweets like this it’s not that surprising: “Had a great few days of training and the boys are looking forward to the weekend game in Dallas.” His baby son also has two new teeth.
Bolton’s midfielder Stuart Holden saw fit to recently inform the world: “Feet up on the couch contemplating what to do for dinner. Went to the carvery in Bolton for my grandma’s birthday today, so good!!” Though maybe that’s preferable to getting all introspective, like Chivas USA’s Alecko Eskandarian, who deep-tweeted: “If you forget where you come from, you’re never going to make it to where you’re going.” So, so true.